Baldessari was one of them. "The real problem [at MOCA] is it's a dysfunctional board. USC has deep pockets, but how much money they would give would be [an important] thing, and how much influence they would have on the direction of MOCA because of that money would be another thing," Baldessari said.
The USC Fisher Museum of Art opened in 1939 and has a collection of about 1,800 works; it offers contemporary art exhibitions and shows focused on the Old Master paintings that are a hallmark of its collection. The museum "has had a kind of minimal presence in L.A., and [an affiliation with MOCA] would enhance their status," Baldessari said.
Baldessari added that USC's Roski School of Fine Arts "is beginning to raise its profile, but it's still not on the level" in art-world prestige as fine arts departments at UCLA, California Institute of the Arts, Otis College of Art and Design, Pasadena's Art Center College of Design and UC San Diego.
MOCA officials have refused since the summer to provide updates on its finances for the 2011-12 fiscal year that ended June 30, or for the projected budget in the current fiscal year. The only public statement on MOCA's funding came in a commentary that Broad wrote in July for The Times' opinion pages: Broad said the budget for 2012-13 was $14.3 million, which would be MOCA's lowest since the 1990s. MOCA laid off seven staff members in July.